Reading Wrap Up: July

These images are taken from my personal bookstagram account

Well another month has passed and I’m still on track with my reading challenge. It may seem like a weird thing to say, considering I had a month off from work this past July, but it was a surprise to me. Partly because I didn’t feel like reading at the beginning of summer, and then I decided to pick up a massive book. Luckily, everything worked out well, and I actually managed to finish four books, and start the fifth before the month ended.

PUBLISHED IN 1986 / WRITTEN BY STEPHEN KING

Goodreads / Images from Tumblr 

For my first Stephen King book, I think I did good. Mostly because I wasn’t afraid to pick it up in the first place and I read it from start to finish. Success! But part of me feels like this is the side of King I’m not going to be the biggest fan of because I’m not much for horror books. Not because I fear them but because I don’t feel fear enough. Horror movies on the other hand are my worst enemy when it comes to feeling scared, so it’s ironic how the horror genre in book format doesn’t really do it for me.

It is a novel that spans through 28 years, it starts with our main characters being kids, as it will be portrayed in the upcoming movie (which I’m super excited for), and the events will continue later on when everyone is grown up. I liked the children’s story line a lot more than I liked the adult version, though it was great to have such different perspectives. The book went back and worth in between the present and the past, so it wasn’t like reading the entire story in a chronological order. This made the book a lot more intriguing and thrilling. But I do have to mention, that there was also this sequence at the end of the book with the kids that rang alarm bells in my head. It’s an interesting choice of action for such a book, and it’s very controversial which is why I don’t think the movie adaptation will explore THAT.

It itself, aka Pennywise, was wonderful. I say this now, but I also will probably run for the hills when I see the movie in September because Pennywise is scary as hell! The fear of course didn’t manifest itself in me while I was reading but I’m sure I’ll feel it when I see It on the big screen. But the concept of it was cool, it did feel a little predictable, one of its aspects at least, and the final concept got a little confusing to me but overall, it was a good read. The plot progressed smoothly, and the style was effortless, so despite the vast amount of descriptive writing (which I usually tend to dislike), it felt comforting to pick It up every day. And it was very easy to feel for the characters.

PUBLISHED IN 2017 / WRITTEN BY CHRISTINA LAUREN

DNF

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Picked this one up since, as you might remember, I was on an adult romance binge-read-mood at the beginning of the year and thought I’d revisit the genre…. back in June. That’s right, I picked this one up in June and got maybe like half way through or even not that, and finally decided to DNF it after more than a month had past. And I didn’t even get to the raunchy stuff, that’s how not interested I was in this book. Also, this is I think the second DNF this year? Or the third.. something like that. Which means I feel obligated to surpass my reading challenge by at least 3 books.

Part of the reason I felt like this one was not my kind of book was that it has a double POV. Guys, I’ve discovered something that I hate, and it’s having both the female and the male perspective in an adult romance novel! What’s the god damn point of it, if I know from two chapters, that the woman is hot for the guy, and the guy is hot for the woman? Where’s the joy of reading between the lines, where’s the tension, where’s the doubt, the angst, it’s just, boring to know everything. Since Christina Lauren is actually a duo of authors, twin sisters, I feel like maybe they wrote a perspective each? Who knows, but it’s just, it didn’t work for me at all, and it never has.

Another aspect of this book was this company merger thing that was happening and well, I just, sure, the fact that they were talent agents was interesting but it didn’t seem to tell us anything about it. Granted, I didn’t finish the book but from the first 12 chapters I only found out that talent agents can have a very big variety of clients from films to music to reality stars. I’m always a little sceptical when it comes to books that exploit certain jobs that I have no insight into because I feel like there is not enough reality and too much fiction in it. But bottom line is, I didn’t finish it because it bored me.

PUBLISHED IN 2014 / WRITTEN BY CATHERINE LACEY

Goodreads / Images from Tumblr 

When I picked this one up at the store I knew nothing about it. You could say I was drawn in by its cover, and what felt like it was going to be an interesting read. And since I rarely read adult fiction, without the element of romance, I thought I’d explore my horizons a little. Turns out, I don’t like them explored when I pick books at random because nothing good ever comes from cover buys these days.

Nobody Is Ever Missing is a story about a woman who leaves her life to live in New Zealand. That’s her entire plan, she has no fallback plan and the plan she has isn’t even that solid. She is depressed, it is clear from the beginning but she doesn’t acknowledge that to herself. She also spends a lot of time in her head, thinking, contemplating, and wondering about things in metaphors.

Oh, the metaphors. There were just too many of them and most of my time reading this book was spent on trying to figure out what she meant. I guess you could say that her state of mind was reflected in me as a reader by making me confused and disoriented, but I don’t really think that’s a way to go with such a topic. Now it is hard for me to critique a book that takes on such a heavy topic but I can’t help to feel disappointed. The story is weak, the character has a lot of thoughts but none of them really connect, and I felt no sympathy for her, even though she’s going through a lot. I finished this book during the time Chester Bennington took his own life and I was brave enough to listen to his Adele cover of Rolling In the Deep, and I cried. The song isn’t even his and yet I felt a different kind of pain from him, that I hadn’t felt during those other times I had listened to that song. That cut wrenching sadness and hopelessness were the emotions I was expecting from Nobody Is Ever Missing, but sadly, it left me indifferent and unshaken.

PUBLISHED IN 2017 / WRITTEN BY MACKENZI LEE

Goodreads / Images from Tumblr 

There were inaudible noises I made while reading this book I never thought I’d make. I started reading this due to its hype (never fear the hype, guys!) and I was immediately hooked. In other words, I loved it, I loved everything about it! And to know that the book is going to have a sequel featuring this one’s supporting character is even more thrilling.

So what is The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue? It’s a young adult historical romance, with a hint of sci-fi fantasy thrown into it. But the fantasy element is very tiny, it takes up maybe a page because it does feature a sort of unrealistic plot development moment at the end of the book. But, that being said, the story itself is more like a character development throughout Europe. It is brilliant, it is funny and it has great characters throughout! I could say that I was bothered by the main character at times, and yet I completely understand that it suited the tone of the book and the vibe of the story too well to be a negative. You’re not supposed to like the main character from the beginning, you’re supposed to see him grow and become who he really wants to be. And it’s okay to dislike him at first, even though I liked him because I’m drawn to these broken and flawed characters with redeeming qualities.

There is also the element of the main character liking his best friend while also swinging for both teams. That’s a really nice touch, especially in the context of this historical setting, which made it a little bit more special. I also loved the supportive characters, and the fact that the plot was quick, speedy and thrilling. I was never bored, never waiting for another plot development because something was happening all the time. You could say that it faulted the book a little, since it took little time creating the world around it, but after reading It at the beginning of the month, this was a nice change of pace. But yes, I could see the speed of it being sort of a downfall if the series continues to rush things in such a manner. All in all though, this is definitely one of my favourites of this year!

PUBLISHED IN 2012 / WRITTEN BY CASSANDRA CLARE

Goodreads / Images from Tumblr 

Well, this is random but here me out. I first picked up The Mortal Instruments series last year, and I stopped after finishing four books. I think I started because I was watching Shadowhunters and this summer I thought why not finish the series. Well, turns out, Shadowhunters is getting better at being like a proper TV show and all, and I like The Mortal Instruments. I’m as shocked as you are.

For context, no, I didn’t like the first three books almost at all but the fourth one was good, and so was the fifth. The writing has improved, the characters are less annoying and their traits have sort of become more established and refined. They make sense. And also, yes, I’m a huge fan of Magnus and Alec, I just can’t imagine this series without them and it makes me happy to read about them.

I will continue reading Cassandra Clare’s series this year because I have all of them, and I’m planning to buy all the companion books as well. I’m currently missing the Magnus Bane book and the Shadowhunters Codex book, plus the third and final book of The Infernal Devices series. So expect a lot of Shadowhunter talk here on Mettel Ray in the upcoming months because this reader is officially hooked. And I’m not even sorry.

PS: As of now I’ve finished The Mortal Instruments series and continued on. I think I might be hardcore fangirling over this series. Seriously. I’ve gone as far as to watch multiple fan videos on Youtube and actually enjoying them! All of this is quite rare for me and I know I’m definitely way too old for this stuff but hey, the mind wants what the mind wants. Currently, I want to know everything about everyone and everything in the Shadowhunter universe.

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1 thought on “Reading Wrap Up: July”

  1. I so feared the hype with Gentleman’s Guide, but it was true!! I loved the way it was written, right from the start I think Mackenzi Lee had a distinct writing style.

    No idea Christina Lauren was two people 😂 I don’t really like their books. Adult romance can be very hard to navigate through, there’s SO MANY bad ones. After more than 10 years reading the genre I can usually spot them, but I still DNF from time to time. It’s the worst feeling, I hate doing it

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